Your Name: Ian Hammett
Occupation: Fitness Advisor
Home Town: Rushden
Twitter Account: @RunHammyRun
What is your running background?
Before 2012 anyone who knew me, would have said I would never give up playing football but then I caught the running bug and haven’t kicked a ball since. I entered the Great South Run 2012 as my first ever race, to see if I could run 10 miles. I then ended up joining Bedford Harriers AC in Feb 2013, completing my first marathon in MK in May 2013, and that launched me well and truly into road racing over a variety of distances for the next couple of years.
When did you first start running Ultra marathons and why?
I started running Ultra’s in 2015, because Marathons just weren’t long enough and I wanted to see how far I could go and how hard I could push myself. I also wanted a change from pure ‘road racing’ so I decided to tackle Rat Race’s ‘The Wall’ in June 2015 and haven’t looked back since.
When or where (at which events) are we most likely to see you?
I really enjoy Centurion Running, White Star Running, and Lakeland Trails events so there is a good chance you’d bump into me at 1 or two of those during the year. I also always do the Great South Run, and the London Marathon.
What are your personal key running achievements to date?
1st place and course record holder at The Wall (69 miles) 2015, Chiltern Challenge 50k 2016, The Ox Ultra (37 miles) 2016, 1st place in SVP100km and CTS South Devon (35 miles) in 2016, 2nd place in SDW100 2016 (My Spartathlon qualifying performance) and CW50 2016, as well as running a PB of 2:38:37 at the Berlin Marathon in 2015.
What was your hardest race experience?
SVP100km in 2016, I ran most of the race feeling sick for some reason, added to that I went off far too fast and suffered in the heat, having to run the last 12 miles of the race with cramp. I could have given up several times, but grit, determination and support from my crew got me through.
What events do you have planned for 2016 up to Spartathlon?
I intend to gradually build my racing up through the year starting with Centurion’s SDW50 and the NDW 50, I will then be at the Lakeland Ultimate Trails 110km in July, followed by Centurion’s NDW100 mile in August. I also plan to be at the London Marathon and Lakeland Trails Marathon in Coniston in June.
What is your typical race strategy for an ultra?
Start steady and try to maintain a constant pace through the race and no matter how I feel ‘keep moving forwards’.
What does a typical training week look like?
I regularly run between 90 – 120 miles per week, training twice a day Monday – Friday and then Long trail or road runs at the weekends. I include lots of hill work, and some short speed sessions to complement the long steady runs.
What one tip would you pass onto people running an Ultra marathon for the first time?
Keep moving forwards, walk if you need to but keep going.. I rely on the motto ‘Relentless forward motion’… as tempting as it might be don’t dwell at the aid stations too long, grab the fuel you need and then get going!!
Can you tell us one interesting fact about yourself?
I used to hate running… Anything further than 100m or 200m at school and I used to wonder what the point was. X-Country and long distance were my worst nightmare. How things change!!
Have you taken part in the Spartathlon before?
No, I’m a First Timer
What are you looking forward to at the Spartathlon race?
The whole experience, just can’t wait to be involved in such an iconic event
What are you not looking forward to during the Spartathlon race?
How my legs are going to feel afterwards.
How will you prepare specifically for the Spartathlon race?
Strength, conditioning and acclimatising will be the main aim of preparation. So plenty of miles in the legs and lots of time on the feet, coupled with gym work to build strength and some warm weather training to get used to the heat… hopefully we’ll have a long hot summer here in the UK.
Will you be bringing any support crew to the race?
Yes my partner Claire will be coming along with my good friend Mark and his wife Claire.